Correspondent Mike Valiante shares his weekly Delaware Park Handicappers diary, with horses to watch, back bets, and more.
Each week he will tell you how the races go, which horses overcame prejudice (or took advantage of it) and which had difficult journeys. Plus, it will provide Coach and Jockey of the Week picks, and more.
Notable races and trips
SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 4
In the first few weeks of the competition the dirt surface showed a bias which favored the horses which followed closely behind the leader and then used the middle section of the track to finish strong. The rail was dead at early speed and to those who tried to close it. It was the most lingering bias I can remember in Delaware for many years. From July this bias started to fade and the track has recently played very well.
- Race 1: In a recent Notebook, we distinguished Purrs well as an example of a horse that consistently hangs despite being wagered at low odds. He was again favored at 3-2 in this race and is now 0 for 24 for life with 7 second places. Second choice Jack Luvs Nona won by three lengths.
- Race 3: There were two very unusual events in this race. The winner Shed a tear paid $ 35 despite being ridden by the competition’s main jockey, Jaime Rodriguez. Even more unusual was the way this newbie went about it. After chasing the leaders, he passed out on the turn and found himself at the back of the pack before regaining momentum and gaining nearly two lengths.
- Race 7: As our regular readers know, the grass course favored early speed. In this race, the favorite A kind of magician was dead last after half a mile and sixth at the top of the stretch. He then finished in style, narrowly missing the place and about three lengths behind the winner. Entertainment which took full advantage of the speed bias.
- Race 8: Two of the eight horses in this very low $ 12,500 claim were first-time starters. Beyer’s average figure in the last race of the six horses that had raced was 5. The winner was the only sender, Pearlintherough, who was retiring from a race at Monmouth and had a change of equipment (turn signals on). Her eight-length victory should be ruled out due to the weak field she beat.
Jockey and trainer of the week
Jockey Jaime Rodriguez won on six of his 26 mounts last week. He now has 90 wins for the meeting. Her closest competitor, Carol Cedeno has 58 victories.
Two winners this week. Coach Kelly rubley had two winners with his four starters while the other two stood up for the show. Brittany Russell won with his two starters this week. She is now 8 for 18 in the competition and 61% ITM.
Toolkit for the disabled
It looks like jockeys Jaime Rodriguez, Carol Cedeno, Angel Suarez and Aubrie Green will all ride regularly in Maryland once Delaware Park is closed. This will only add to the strong colony of jockeys existing in Laurel.